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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

VII. Heilagra meyja drápa (Mey) - 60

Heilagra meyja drápa (‘Drápa about Holy Maidens’) — Anon MeyVII

Kirsten Wolf 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Heilagra meyja drápa’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 891-930.

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Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XIV]: [B. 12]. Af heilogum meyjum, Heilagra meyja drápa. (AII, 526-39, BII, 582-97)

SkP info: VII, 926-7

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56 — Anon Mey 56VII

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Cite as: Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Heilagra meyja drápa 56’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 926-7.

Skólastika var skipuð í sælu
skærust frú með drottni kærum;
hennar tígn var heilög nunna
hreinlífis í klaustri einu.
Benedictus sá blíðr í greinum
bróðir þeirar meyjar góðrar
líða upp af líkam brúðar
ljúfa önd í merki dúfu.

Skólastika, skærust frú, var skipuð í sælu með kærum drottni; hennar tígn var heilög hreinlífis nunna í einu klaustri. Benedictus, blíðr í greinum, bróðir þeirar góðrar meyjar, sá ljúfa önd líða upp af líkam brúðar í merki dúfu.

Scholastica, the brightest lady, was received into bliss with the dear Lord; her distinction was [as] a holy, chaste nun in a convent. Benedict, gentle in [his] actions, the brother of that good maiden, saw the beloved soul rise up from the body of the woman in the form of a dove.

Mss: 721(10r), 713(27-28)

Readings: [1] skipuð: sköpuð 713;    í: so 713, om. 721    [2] kærum: kærust 713    [5] sá: so 713, á 721

Editions: Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XIV], [B. 12]. Af heilogum meyjum 56: AII, 598, BII, 596, Skald II, 330, NN §§2970C, 2971D, 2979.

Notes: [All]: S. Scholastica was the sister of S. Benedict of Nursia, and is said to have established a convent at Plombariola, a short distance from her brother’s foundation of Monte Cassino. The story referred to here in ll. 5-8 was told in Gregory the Great’s Dialogues, a work translated into Icel. in the late C12th, though now preserved only in fragments (Widding, Bekker-Nielsen and Shook 1963, 311). It relates that brother and sister used to meet once a year at a house near the monastery. On the last of these occasions, Scholastica wanted her brother to stay the night so they could go on talking, but he would not. Scholastica began to pray and soon such a fierce storm arose that Benedict was unable to leave. Three days later she died. There were several Benedictine houses in Iceland which might have been specially interested in this legend, including Þingeyrar (founded 1133), Munkaþverá (founded 1155), Viðey (1344-52) and Hítardalr (1166-1202), and the convents of Kirkjubær (founded 1186) and Staður on Reynisnes (founded 1296). See further Cormack 1994, 84. — [4] hreinlífis ‘chaste’: Kock (NN §2979) argues that hreinlífis qualifies nunna ‘nun’, lit. ‘nun of chastity’, ‘chaste nun’; Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) takes it with klaustr in the phrase í einu klaustri hreinlifis ‘in a convent of chastity’, i.e. ‘in a chaste convent’.

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